Life after 50 is sex, adventure and martial arts in debut SunLife TV campaign

Insurance brand SunLife is taking on ubiquitous stereotypes of older people in its first above-the-line campaign.

"Welcome to life after 50", created by Mother, features a range of characters in their 50s, 60s and 70s defying clichéd representations of later life.

The campaign follows a huge piece of research in which the brand interviewed 50,000 over 50s in an effort to build a true picture of the lifestyles, finances and attitudes of the age group.

The findings made clear that brands that overlook the generation are missing out on a major commercial opportunity. Over 50s make up only a third of the population, but hold almost 80% of the UK’s wealth.

Their consumer spending has grown on average 4.4% annually for the last decade, compared to just 1.2% for the under 50s.

But this consumer power is not reflected in media, the study found. 89% said they believed brands weren’t interested in them, and seven in ten said that when over 50s were featured, an outdated stereotype was frequently used.

In contrast to the armchairs and cardigans often associated with older people in ads, SunLife found that over 50s felt younger than their age, were busier than ever and were often passionate about adventurous travel and being active.

It also found that they are more interested in experiences than things – a quality often cited by marketers as setting millennials apart from older generations.

SunLife chief executive Dean Lamble said: "It is a fun, tongue in cheek brand campaign but it is addressing a serious issue, that people over 50 are being underserved across the board and it is time that changed.

"After all, it’s odd to think that people still discriminate against a group we all hope to one day join."

The campaign will launch on Saturday during Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway on ITV, with a 30-second spot focused on home insurance also being shown. The TV run will be supported by radio, press, digital and social media.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).